Electric scooters are becoming a popular method of travel in cities across the United States. Whether riding rental or privately-owned scooters, many people use these vehicles to travel to work, run errands, and attend social gatherings. Unfortunately, as scooters increase in popularity, so do accidents involving their riders.
The laws governing electric scooter travel can vary depending on where you are. Many states have passed laws governing who can ride scooters, where you can ride them, how fast you can travel, and whether helmets are required. The laws that apply in your state can affect the process of recovering compensation for your scooter accident injuries.
If you were hurt because of a scooter accident in Indiana, Illinois, or Wisconsin, get help building your case against the at-fault party. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Wruck Paupore by calling (219) 322-1166. Our team can offer a free review of your case.
Electric scooter laws are developing across the country as these vehicles increase in popularity. In some places, these laws may be enforced more strictly than others. Still, it is important to be aware of the applicable rules before driving an electric scooter in your state. The following is a comprehensive guide to scooter laws across the United States in 2023:
Alabama has authorized scooters as a legal method of travel on public streets. However, further development of specific laws has been left to local municipalities. Certain cities, like Birmingham, have allowed multiple scooter-sharing companies to operate inside their limits. Meanwhile, in other cities like Auburn and Tuscaloosa, scooter-sharing programs are not permitted.
Scooter laws in Alabama are still slowly developing. It is best to ask questions to local law enforcement officers if you have questions about specific scooter laws in your area.
Electric scooters in Alaska as governed as “motor driven cycles.” Therefore, they are regulated by government agencies as other motor vehicles.
Electric scooters in Alaska must not produce more than 750W of power. The process for becoming licensed to ride electric scooters is similar to the process of acquiring a motorcycle license. Riders who are 14 or 15 years old must acquire a Class M2 license. Furthermore, riders who are 16 years old or older must obtain either a Class M1 license or a Class M3 license. Outside of these rules, electric scooter travel in Alaska is largely unregulated.
In Arizona, electric scooters are treated as if they are akin to bicycles. Accordingly, they may be driven anywhere that bicycles can, and drivers do not need to acquire insurance or registration. To qualify as an electric scooter in this Arizona, the vehicle at issue must weigh less than 75 pounds and have a max speed of 20 mph or less. Also, helmets must be worn by riders under the age of 18.
Electric scooters are also street-legal in Arkansas. To qualify as an electric scooter, vehicles must weigh fewer than 100 lbs and not travel faster than 20 mph. Still, drivers must be 16 years old and cannot travel over 15 mph on public roads.
The rules governing scooter-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have been left to local municipalities in Arkansas. Also, these companies must provide local governments with access to rider data.
California scooter laws have been extensively developed. In order to operate such a vehicle, riders must obtain valid drivers’ licenses. However, electric scooters do not have to be registered with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
When driving an electric scooter in California, you cannot travel faster than 15 mph on any bike lane or public road. Furthermore, drivers must remain on streets with slow speed limits. Riders cannot take their scooters on roads with limits exceeding 25 mph. Anyone under 18 years old must also wear a helmet while operating an electric scooter.
In Colorado, electric scooters may be operated on streets that have speed limits listed at 30 mph or under. When a road with a slower speed limit is not available, riders may take their electric scooters onto sidewalks. However, when traveling on sidewalks, these vehicles cannot be driven faster than 6 mph.
Generally, in Colorado, those who operate electric scooters must obey many of the same laws as bicyclists. Still, several aspects of electric scooter laws in Colorado remain undeveloped.
Electric scooter laws also share similarities with bicycle laws in Connecticut. Those who ride electric scooters must wear helmets if they are 16 years old or younger. Furthermore, drivers of electric scooters cannot take their vehicles onto sidewalks and cannot travel over 20 mph.
In Delaware, the laws governing electric scooter travel treat the vehicles the same way as motorized skateboards. Electric scooters cannot be driven on streets, highways, or sidewalks. It is one of the few states left where scooters are still not street-legal. However, this restriction is not always enforced.
Electric scooter laws in Washington D.C. refer to the vehicles as “personal mobility devices,” or “PMD’s.” Riders must be at least 16 years old and cannot travel on sidewalks through the central business district. Drivers of private electric scooters do not need to wear helmets, however, those operating shared scooters must wear helmets if they are under 18 years old.
The speed limit for electric scooters in Washington D.C. is one of the lowest in the country. Electric scooters cannot be driven at speeds exceeding 10 mph.
Electric scooter usage became legal statewide in Florida in 2019. Riders have to be at least 16 years of age but are not required to carry a driver’s license. Electric scooters may be driven inside bike lanes. However, their operators must abide by the same rules that apply to bicyclists. Lastly, electric scooters cannot be driven faster than 30 mph.
Those who partake in scooter-sharing programs in Florida must abide by local government ordinances. However, private scooter owners often do not need to follow the same regulations.
According to Georgia laws, electric scooters cannot weigh more than 100 lbs and cannot be driven in excess of 20 mph. These vehicles may be operated on bike lanes and bike paths. Furthermore, electric scooters can be driven on public streets that have speed limits listed at 35 mph or under. Outside of these regulations, electric scooter laws in Georgia have mostly been left to local municipalities.
Hawaii has some of the most thoroughly developed scooter laws in the country. These vehicles may be taken on bike paths, roadways, and sidewalks. However, drivers must be at least 15 years old and wear a helmet while they are under 16. Additionally, electric scooters must have headlights to be driven at night. Lastly, vehicles cannot weigh over 75 pounds or be driven faster than 15 mph.
Idaho is another state where electric scooter laws are still developing. State laws refer to these vehicles the same way as “motorized toys” and prohibit their usage on public roadways and sidewalks. However, electric scooters are permitted where local governments allow them. For instance, in Boise, electric scooters may be driven on the Greenbelt, on sidewalks, and streets. Accordingly, before driving an electric scooter in Idaho, it is best to ask a local law enforcement officer about applicable regulations.
In Illinois, electric scooters have been designated as motor-driven cycles. These are vehicles with two, three, or four wheels with engines of less than 150cc in power. Private scooter owners must acquire a Class L or Class M license. Furthermore, personal scooters must be registered with the state, and their drivers must carry the minimum liability insurance coverage. Scooters in Illinois also have to be equipped with headlights and tail lights that assist with nighttime visibility.
To operate shared scooters in Illinois, such as those provided by Bird and Lime, operators do not require special licensing. Drivers only need to be 18 years old or at least 16 years old with their guardian’s permission. However, many local municipalities impose specific regulations for drivers of shared electric scooters.
You may be entitled to financial compensation if you have been injured because of an electric scooter accident in Illinois. Reach out to our experienced personal injury attorneys for help fighting for the monetary damages you deserve.
Under Indiana law, electric scooters are referred to as “electric foot scooters.” To qualify as an electric foot scooter, vehicles must meet the following criteria:
Electric scooters can be driven on streets and bike paths. Furthermore, operators do not need drivers’ licenses, as electric scooters are not legally classified as motor vehicles. Still, many local governments in Indiana have established additional laws regulating electric scooter usage.
Victims of electric scooter accidents in Indiana can call our law firm for help determining the appropriate course of action. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will help injured riders file claims against the parties responsible for their crashes.
In Iowa, electric scooters may be driven on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or slower. Furthermore, they may also be operated on sidewalks and bike paths.
Electric scooters in Iowa may be parked anywhere bicycles may legally park, so long as they do not impede pedestrian traffic. Furthermore, their drivers do not need to carry licenses or be insured. However, these vehicles have to be equipped with a white light in the front and a red light in the rear. If a rear red light is not utilized, a red reflector may be used in its place.
Electric scooters are street-legal in Kansas. Still, they are not permitted on highways or sidewalks. Furthermore, their operators must obtain valid drivers’ licenses, and vehicles have to be equipped with rear and front lights if they are to be driven at night. However, helmets are not required to operate electric scooters in this state.
In Kentucky, electric scooters are treated similarly to bicycles. Accordingly, they may be operated on public streets, and drivers do not need to register them, obtain drivers’ licenses, or purchase insurance coverage. Still, electric scooters cannot be operated by drivers under the age of 16. Also, these vehicles must have a white light in the front and a red light in the back in order to increase visibility.
Electric scooters in Louisiana must be operated by people with valid drivers’ licenses. Low-speed scooters can be driven on bike paths, sidewalks, and on streets that have posted speed limits of 25 mph or slower.
When operating an electric scooter in this state, only one person can ride the vehicle at a time. Furthermore, riders under 17 years old have to wear helmets.
Electric scooters are street-legal in Maine. However, they cannot be driven in excess of 20 mph. Furthermore, when operated at night, these vehicles have to be equipped with white front lights and amber or red rear lights. Additionally, electric scooters must have reflectors.
In Maine, the wheels of electric scooters cannot be larger than 10 inches in diameter and cannot have engines that produce more than 750 watts. Furthermore, drivers in Maine must acquire valid drivers’ licenses.
Electric scooters have also been deemed street-legal in Maryland. While they have been designated as their own specific class of vehicle, the laws pertaining to electric scooters are essentially the same as those that apply to bicycles. However, it has been established that scooters may not travel at speeds higher than 20 mph.
In Massachusetts, electric scooters may be driven on public streets. However, operators need to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, wear helmets, and provide audible signals when attempting to pass. Furthermore, to drive an electric scooter in this state, you must obtain a valid driver’s license and refrain from traveling at speeds exceeding 20 mph.
In Michigan, electric scooters fall under the same category as electric skateboards. These vehicles can only transport one passenger at a time, and their engines cannot produce power greater than 2500W.
Furthermore, the speed limit for electric scooters in Michigan is 25 mph. Accordingly, they are not permitted on streets with higher speed limits. Drivers of electric scooters cannot weave between lanes of traffic in order to pass others. Also, these vehicles have to have front, white lights that are visible from at least 500 feet away and rear reflectors that can be seen from 600 feet.
In order to be classified as an “electric foot scooter” in Minnesota, vehicles must:
Therefore, electric scooters will constitute electric foot scooters in Minnesota. Their drivers have to be at least 12 years of age and must wear a helmet while they are under 18.
Also, those who drive electric scooters in Minnesota cannot take their vehicles onto sidewalks. Still, they are permitted on trails and bike paths that have not been reserved for non-motorized traffic. However, local governments may impose specific regulations in certain areas.
Finally, electric scooters in Minnesota have to have headlights and taillights that provide visibility during nighttime and low-light conditions.
State scooter laws in Mississippi are largely undeveloped. Therefore, regulations have been left to local municipalities. If you are questioning the scooter laws in your area of Mississippi, it is best to contact local law enforcement to present them with your inquiries.
Electric scooters are street-legal in Missouri and are treated in the same respect as motorized bicycles. Therefore, they can also be driven in bike lanes.
In order to operate an electric scooter in this state, drivers must obtain valid drivers’ licenses. Furthermore, electric scooters cannot travel faster than 30 mph. If they do, they will be treated as if they are a motorcycle instead.
Like Missouri, electric scooters are treated the same as motorized bicycles in Montana. They are permitted on streets and on bike paths but not on sidewalks. Furthermore, when drivers of electric scooters encounter pedestrians, pedestrians usually have the right of way. Drivers of electric scooters must obey traffic signals and provide audible warnings upon attempting to pass other people.
In Nebraska, the use of electric scooters is mostly unregulated statewide. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles has expressly established that scooters do not have to be registered. When operating electric scooters in Nebraska, drivers should still abide by traffic laws and avoid riding on sidewalks.
Electric scooters can be operated on public roads in Nevada. However, these vehicles cannot weigh over 100 lbs and cannot travel in excess of 20 mph. Additionally, drivers of electric scooters in Nevada must be at least 16 years of age.
New Hampshire is another state where statewide electric scooter regulations have not been established. Still, some cities like Nashua and Portsmouth have established laws that specifically concern the use of shared scooters, such as the ones distributed by Spin or Bird.
According to New Jersey law, electric scooters are referred to specifically as “low speed electric scooters.” They cannot travel faster than 19 mph and are generally bound to the same laws as bicycles. The regulations pertaining to whether these vehicles can be driven on trails and sidewalks can differ from city to city. Furthermore, those who operate electric scooters do not need to acquire drivers’ licenses, insurance, or vehicle registrations.
New Mexico is also a state where electric scooter regulations are left to local municipalities. However, a bill has been introduced in the state legislature that serves to govern the use of such vehicles statewide. Still, as of early 2023, it has not been codified into law.
New York has established a state law that permits the use of electric scooters. Under this law, riders must be at least 16 years old and wear helmets while in transit. Furthermore, electric scooters are not permitted on sidewalks or on streets that post speed limits higher than 30 mph.
However, local municipalities have the ability to extend or override state laws pertaining to electric scooter usage. For example, in New York City, electric scooters cannot travel faster than 20 mph and are not permitted on streets with speed limits faster than 25 mph.
In North Carolina, electric scooters must be registered with the DMV, and their drivers must acquire valid drivers’ licenses. Furthermore, they cannot be ridden on roads with speed limits that surpass 25 mph. Outside of these regulations, issues pertaining to the statewide use of electric scooters are left unaddressed.
North Dakota is also a state where the use of electric scooters is not specifically regulated at a statewide level. Still, these vehicles are bound by existing legislation that applies to mopeds. Accordingly, in North Dakota, electric scooters should not be driven on bicycle paths or sidewalks. They also have to be equipped with taillights and headlights. Lastly, their drivers should wear helmets if they are younger than 18 years old.
Ohio laws describe electric scooters are “low-speed micromobility devices.” In this state, scooters cannot travel faster than 20 mph or weigh over 100 lbs. Drivers must be at least 16 years old but do not need to obtain drivers’ licenses or purchase vehicle insurance. Electric scooters can be operated on public roads, but their operators must obey traffic lights and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Additionally, electric scooters in Ohio should be equipped with rear and front lights if they are to be driven at night.
In Oklahoma, governance of electric scooter usage is set forth by individual cities. Scooter-sharing programs have been admitted in Oklahoma City, Norman, Stillwater, and Tulsa. These cities have set forth different rules that drivers must abide by. Suppose you are unaware of the electric scooter laws in a certain part of Oklahoma. In that case, you should contact a local law enforcement officer for an explanation of the applicable regulations.
In Oregon, electric scooter laws operate similarly to those governing usage of mopeds. Scooters are allowed to be equipped with motors that produce up to 100w of power. Also, they must have lights in order to travel at night and cannot exceed 24 mph.
However, individual cities can establish their own rules pertaining to the operation of electric scooters. For example, Portland specifically restricts electric scooter usage on sidewalks and requires drivers to be at least 16 years of age and not travel faster than 15 mph.
At the state level, electric scooter laws in Pennsylvania are mostly still developing. Bills have been introduced that seek to establish statewide rules applying to electric scooters and their usage. However, for now, governance is left mostly to individual cities in this state.
Rhode Island is another state where scooter laws have been left unaddressed at a statewide level. Meanwhile, the introduction of scooter-sharing programs is being controlled by local municipalities.
Certain cities have established specific rules. For instance, those who operate electric scooters in Providence, RI must be able to present valid drivers’ licenses or municipal identification.
South Carolina has not yet established electric scooter laws that apply throughout the state. Therefore, this is another state where regulation is mostly left to individual cities. Some cities, like Columbia and Charleston, have banned electric scooter usage entirely.
South Dakota has legalized the usage of electric scooters on public roads. Under state law, these vehicles are referred to as “motorized foot scooters.” They are defined as vehicles with handlebars and platforms to sit or stand. Furthermore, the maximum diameter for wheels on electric scoots is 12 inches. These vehicles are permitted on sidewalks but cannot be capable of reaching speeds greater than 15 mph.
Under Tennessee law, electric scooters are defined as vehicles that weigh fewer than 100 lbs and are equipped with electric motors and handlebars. They cannot exceed speeds of 20 mph and must be equipped with breaks, front lights, and rear lights. If a scooter does not have rear lights, it may use reflectors instead.
Scooters are street-legal in Tennessee but cannot be operated on sidewalks unless specifically permitted by local municipalities.
Texas has not set forth laws that specifically apply to electric scooters across the state. Accordingly, regulations are left to individual cities. A high number of cities in Texas have introduced scooter-sharing programs. Residents and visitors can contact local law enforcement officers for help understanding what rules they must follow.
Utah has legalized the use of electric scooters at a statewide level. In general, they are treated the same as bicycles. Drivers of electric scooters in this state do not have to obtain drivers’ licenses or purchase vehicle registration. However, any operator under 15 years of age must do so under the supervision of their parent or guardian.
Electric scooters may be taken anywhere that bicycles can in Utah. Still, they should be equipped with rear and front lights. Further, they cannot be taken on streets with speed limits higher than 25 mph, and drivers cannot go faster than 15 mph.
Statewide regulation of electric scooters has not been established in Vermont. However, several cities have set forth governance of shared scooter usage. For example, riders in Burlington, VT cannot travel faster than 15 mph. In general, scooters and electric bicycles in Vermont are treated the same way as vehicles and should not be operated on sidewalks.
Virginia has established state laws that regulate the usage of electric scooters. These vehicles must weigh fewer than 100 lbs, cannot be driven on highways, and cannot reach speeds exceeding 20 mph. Furthermore, drivers of electric scooters in Virginia have to be at least 14 years old. Still, individual cities are permitted to establish further legislation governing the operation of electric scooters.
Under Washington law, scooters are referred to as “motorized foot scooters.” They are permitted on streets and in bicycle lanes. However, these vehicles’ maximum speed cannot surpass 15 mph. Furthermore, they must be equipped with reflectors if they are to be driven at night.
In order to operate a scooter in Washington, you must be at least 16 years old unless otherwise allowed by local municipalities. Also, the ability to drive scooters on sidewalks is determined individually by each city.
Laws pertaining to the usage of electric scooters are still developing in West Virginia. However, in 2020, the state legislature passed a law that pertains to electric bicycles. It follows that similar regulations may extend to the operation of electric scooters soon. Under this new West Virginia law, drivers of electric bicycles have to follow the same rules as those riding regular bicycles, and riders under the age of 15 must wear helmets.
Wisconsin has established statewide regulations governing electric scooters and their use. According to Wisconsin law, electric scooters are defined by the following characteristics:
When driving an electric scooter in Wisconsin, you should abide by the rules of the road. Those who do not abide by traffic laws are subject to the same penalties that apply to violations committed while driving a Segway.
Electric scooters are permitted on many roadways, bicycle paths, and sidewalks throughout Wisconsin. However, individual cities may establish specific ordinances that further regulate their usage.
Thankfully, if you were hurt because of a scooter accident in Wisconsin, you can contact our law firm for help bringing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help recover payment for the harm you sustained.
In Wyoming, regulations pertaining to electric bicycles have been established, but statewide scooter laws are mostly undeveloped. Rules pertaining to electric scooters may vary from city to city. If you are wondering what rules may apply to electric scooter usage in your part of Wyoming, you should contact local law enforcement.
If you were hurt as the result of a scooter accident in Indiana, Illinois, or Wisconsin, then you can contact our personal injury lawyers for help with your case. Our team at Wruck Paupore can help evaluate the strength of your claim for free. Call us today at (219) 322-1166.
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